For just over two hours last night, the Auburn City Council made final remarks before passing the budget for the 2013 to 2014 fiscal year. Councilor John Comardo voted against the budget, which included dropping ten firefighters from the Auburn Fire Department.
Four of those firefighter positions are already vacant, and will remain so. The six firefighters who are facing the prospect of searching for work elsewhere will continue getting paid until August 1st.
As another way of saving money, councilors agreed to cutting their salary by four percent for the next fiscal year, while Councilor Matt Smith will go the next fiscal year without any salary.
Councilors Smith and Comardo got into a loud argument before the vote, where they traded shots and barbs over their history on the council. At one point, Smith told Comardo to "stop running for mayor."
After a ten minute break, the vote took place. Councilors agreed that this budget process is only the beginning of several years of tough budget talks. Councilor Comardo suggested beginning budget talks for the next fiscal year at next week's meeting, instead of waiting until the last minute.
The new fiscal year begins on July 1st.